Moonwatch Only: The Ultimate Omega Speedmaster Guide
“One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind,” Neil Armstrong famously uttered when, on July 21, 1969, at 2:56 UT, he was the first human ever to set foot on the moon.
Even though this took place long before promotional practices like that between Felix Baumgartner, who skydived from space in 2012, and Zenith were common, Armstrong had an Omega Speedmaster Professional with him and this became a legendary association.
Though this was undoubtedly its most famous moment, the celebrated Speedmaster has been worn during numerous space missions and even played a major role in rescuing astronauts from the unlucky Apollo 13 mission as illustrated by the Tom Hanks movie of the same name.
The Speedmaster remains a backbone of Omega’s collection to this day – most recently illustrated by the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon winning the Revival Prize at the 2014 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. See Reflections On The 2014 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève and Chronograph Pre-Selected Watches: Round Table Discussion Of The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2014 for more on that.
These are perhaps more well-known historical points relating to the Speedmaster, which was created in 1957, but did you know that it was initially designed for automobile racing teams and engineers? The Speedmaster’s course radically changed when in 1965 it was chosen by NASA to accompany astronauts to space.
A definitive book
Anthony Marquié and Grégoire Rossier are two enthusiastic connoisseurs of the Speedmaster universe. French-born Marquié, a trained aeronautical engineer, and Rossier, a Swiss biologist specializing in bioinformatics, have taken their scientific minds fully into a new sphere, immersing themselves into the world of vintage and modern Speedmasters.
This was not a stretch as Marquié has long collected both modern and vintage watches and Rossier became a watch enthusiast at the age of 13 when he inherited his first Omega Seamaster. The duo developed a systematic database of thousands of timepieces referencing both their observations as well as market trends.
In their Moonwatch Only: The Ultimate Omega Speedmaster Guide’s foreword they write, “We soon began to feel the irresistible attraction of the vintage models of the 1960s, dubbed ‘pre-moon’ because, although identical to those worn by NASA astronauts, they were designed before the first lunar landing. These pre-moon models became the center of our interest.”
Distinctly defined chapters
Moonwatch Only: The Ultimate Omega Speedmaster Guide is clearly divided into five main sections.
Section one plainly explains how and why this book came to be. It also provides important dates in the history of the Speedmaster and deciphers the coding systems found on the various models.
Section two puts ten of the main components – one of them being the caliber, others including the case, dial, crown, etc. – and accessories such as packaging under the loupe.
Section three deals with the individual models, including standard production, special and limited series and projects and prototypes. This is naturally the most extensive section and is fully illustrated. A true joy!
Section four deals with choosing the model that is right for you and the daily use of it. This takes budget and sales channels into consideration. The authors do stress here that with vintage, “There is no such thing as perfection.”
Part five comprises the appendices, providing information on things like suppliers, series and reference numbers and quick recaps of major features like movements and bezels.
All in all, this book is a positive joy to use in a professional sense (should you be a collector or a journalist) or a personal sense (in case this is your personal interest).
First off, as a journalist and sometime translator, I am always – both consciously and subconsciously – looking at the quality of translated material. This book was originally written in French. It has, however, been expertly translated into English by Susan Jacquet and is thus eminently enjoyable just to read and not only for its properties as a rich, serious reference book. It is also available in Italian.
For me, this book thoroughly earns its designation as the ultimate guide to the Omega Speedmaster, and I will refer to it with pleasure for any and all Speedmaster questions I may have from now on.
If you are considering purchasing this compendium as a gift or for yourself, I can recommend it wholeheartedly.
Hardback, 26 x 32 cm
More than 1,000 color illustrations
English: ISBN 978-2-940506-03-3
French: ISBN 978-2-940506-02-6
Italian: ISBN 978-2-940506-04-0
Price: $350 / € 250 / CHF 290
Published by: Watchprint.com